A user programmable hearing aid allows a user to select acoustical configuration programs that provide optimum performance for the user. The user may cycle through and evaluate various available programs by momentarily pressing a push button on the hearing aid housing. When a preferred program is active, the user can press the push button for an extended time to designate that program as a selected program. The acoustical configuration programs include initial-tuning programs that are operable in an initial-tuning mode and fine-tuning programs that are operable in a fine-tuning mode. The hearing aid may also operate in a Configuration Mode wherein configuration settings may be changed using the push button and a volume control. In the Configuration Mode, a clinician or patient may easily change configuration settings manually, with no need to connect the apparatus to a computer or other programming interface.